Chicagoland: Alli Owens race report

ALLI OWENS MATCHES CAREER BEST FINISH AT CHICAGOLAND Joliet, Ill. (September 8, 2008) - After a hair-raising start to the Chicagoland 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, Alli Owens fought her way back from the tail end of the ...

ALLI OWENS MATCHES CAREER BEST FINISH AT CHICAGOLAND

Joliet, Ill. (September 8, 2008) - After a hair-raising start to the Chicagoland 200 ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Chicagoland Speedway, Alli Owens fought her way back from the tail end of the 41-car starting field to capture an impressive 15th place finish.

Owens was full of confidence after qualifying the No. 12 ElectrifyingCareers.com Chevrolet in the 11th spot, but a spinning car on the first lap caused the 20-year-old to take evasive action. She grazed the front stretch wall, causing significant damage to the right side of her car.

The crew, led by veteran crew chief Mario Gosselin, brought Owens to the pits for repairs. After pulling the fenders off the tires and making a few minor adjustments, she returned to the action at the back of the field.

"It was nuts out there," said Owens. "On the first lap, I just about got clobbered. I did all I could to keep it off the wall but there just wasn't enough room. The toe or the rear end was knocked out of alignment so I knew I was going to have my hands full for the rest of the day."

On the restart, Owens quickly began her charge back the front when, for the second time, a car spun on the front stretch directly in front of her. This time, she managed to avoid contact and continued on without further damage.

"When I saw the second car spin, I thought I was going to have a heart attack," explained Owens. "I almost got clobbered again in the exact same spot."

Despite the two incidents, Owens remained focused on making the best of a difficult situation.

"We had a great car," said Owens. "If the first lap accident didn't happen, we would have easily finished in the top 10. The car was that good. Unfortunately, the damage was enough to hold me back."

By lap 114 of the 136 lap race, Owens had worked her way into the top 10 when she was called to the pits for a scheduled green flag pit stop. As fate would have it, the caution flag flew and she found herself two laps behind the leaders who had yet to make their pit stops.

"We got messed up with the caution coming out while we were in the pits," said Owens. "It's no one's fault. It's just how it played out."

Owens soldiered on in the remaining laps and crossed the finish line in 15th, matching her career best. She finished 15th at both Rockingham and Kentucky earlier this season.

"I definitely wanted to finish better than 15th but that's all we had after the wreck," said Owens. "I can't be too disappointed though. It's my rookie year and I expected to have a steep learning curve."

The next race for Owens and the ElectrifyingCareers.com team is the Loud Energy Drink 150 being held at the newly opened New Jersey Motor sports Park on September 28.

-credit: aoPR

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About this article
Series ARCA
Drivers Mario Gosselin , Alli Owens